2024 Eclipse: When will the solar eclipse happen near me?

Parts of North America will be completely in the dark when the Great North American Solar Eclipse happens on April 8.

The path of totality will pass over a large part of Central Texas, including Austin, Dripping Springs, Cedar Park, Georgetown, Killeen, Fredericksburg, Blanco, Llano, Burnet and northwest San Antonio

READ MORE: Total solar eclipse forecast: Who has best chance for clear skies on April 8

While solar eclipses happen about twice a year, any given spot on the planet only sees temporary darkness from the moon’s shadow once every 400 years, according to the American Astronomical Society

The next total solar eclipse that will be visible in the U.S. won't happen until 2045. 

When will the solar eclipse happen near me?

(Michael Zeiler/GreatAmericanEclipse.com)

The American Astronomical Society says the Moon's dark central shadow is about 115 miles wide. A partial solar eclipse will be visible to nearly everyone in North America fortunate to have cloud-free skies.

According to GreatAmericanEclipse.com, the total solar eclipse will first enter Texas at the U.S.-Mexico border at 1:27 p.m. The route will then leave Texas at the Oklahoma and Arkansas borders at 1:49 p.m.

Through Texas, the speed of the Moon’s shadow will accelerate from about 1580 miles per hour to about 1850 miles per hour.

The center of the path is very near Austin, which is why most of the city will experience some amount of darkness, says the city of Austin. This won't happen again for more than 319 years.

Best places to see the eclipse in Central Texas

Travis County

Austin - UT Austin/Austin Parks and Recreation

The University of Texas at Austin is providing eclipse glasses and telescopes with solar filters for independent and guided viewing in select parks between noon – 3 p.m. 

Connelly-Guerrero Senior Activity Center will also be livestreaming the eclipse for people who want to remain indoors.

Butler Park at Town Lake Metro will be hosting a Long Center viewing party. Visitors can also see the eclipse from Commons Ford Ranch Park.

The Zilker Botanical Garden will also have free entry on Monday, April 8 for visitors to watch the eclipse from there.

Austin - Austin Public Library branches

Several Austin Public Library branches will be hosting eclipse viewing parties, with eclipse glasses and activities for families. The Central Library will hold an event the day of the eclipse with NASA speakers. Other locations will be hosting eclipse-themed events leading up to the eclipse.

For a list of all Austin Public Library eclipse events, an up-to-date list can be found here.

Williamson County

Leander - CapMetro Eclipse-nic

CapMetro will be hosting an "Eclipse-nic" from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Leander Rail Station.

The first 250 guests to arrive will receive a complimentary lunch and picnic blankets. Complimentary viewing glasses are available for all who attend.

Liberty Hill - River Ranch County Park

The Good Water Master Naturalists are providing free eclipse viewing glasses and fun activities, including mini-eclipse lectures and kids' crafts. Visitors can bring an empty cereal box to make your own pinhole viewer.

The event will begin at 11:30 a.m. on the front lawn of the Interpretive Center. Visitors can also bring lawn chairs or blankets, drinks and snacks. Park admission fees apply and gates will close when the park reaches capacity.

Read more here.

Georgetown - Southwestern University campus

Southwestern University is hosting a Total Eclipse Viewing Party on its academic mall from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Associate Professor of Physics Mark Bottorff will be on site with 10 telescopes and eclipse glasses will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. The university will also have a spot for amateur astronomers to bring their own equipment.

Visitors are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets for comfort. There will be refreshments and special edition merchandise for sale.

Read more here.

Hays County

Dripping Springs - sunBLOCK Party

The City of Dripping Springs will be hosting a block party on Mercer Street from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Music and entertainment will be provided by local students and entertainers throughout the day. There will also be food vendors and trucks and close to 20 eclipse-related vendors and businesses. Visitors will also be able to purchase commemorative items.

Visitors can also check out the photo spot at Veterans Memorial Park on the corner of US 290 and Route 12.

What will happen during the solar eclipse?

During a total solar eclipse, the moon passes completely in front of the sun, momentarily turning day into night for those in the path of its shadow – like someone just turned off a light switch.

The event only happens when the moon’s orbit is close to Earth, and the celestial body blocks out the view of the sun, creating a shadow on Earth’s surface.

This is different from the "ring of fire" eclipse back in October.

Astronomers said that because the moon was farther from Earth, it didn't completely block out the sun, leading to a small circle of the sun being visible during the eclipse.

How can I safely view the eclipse?

Viewers looking to watch the eclipse must wear protective eyewear, officials say. 

According to the American Astronomical Society, a real and safe pair of solar eclipse glasses should be labeled with ISO 12312-2 (sometimes written in more detail as ISO 12312-2:2015). The glasses must also be certified and be free of scratches.

The city of Austin says viewers can also use Welder's glass, no. 13 or 14, which will provide enough protection.

Once the moon completely covers the sun, the eclipse will no longer be visible through the eclipse glasses. During totality, the viewer can remove their eclipse glasses and see the corona. Only people within the path of totality can glimpse the sun's corona with their naked eyes during totality. 

READ MORE: Is looking at an eclipse bad for your eyes?

For people interested in taking photos and video, the city of Austin says it is important to remember that cameras require a solar filter.

The city is also warning viewers that looking through the lens of a camera, telescope, or binoculars while wearing eclipse glasses puts your eyes at risk. The lens will magnify the sun’s rays and could burn a hole through the eclipse glasses. 

Parents and guardians should also supervise children and make sure they do not look into the sun to avoid eye injury.

Viewers are also advised to wear sun protection like sunscreen and wide-brimmed hats if they are outside as the sun can still be bright and cause sunburns.

FOX Weather and FOX 4 Dallas contributed to this report.